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Engraved in Your Heart

Tuesday, 29 April, 2014 - 1:34 am

On RCS Lesson 7, Shavuot- Engraved in Your Heart; Finding Personal Meaning in the Ten Commandments.

From Webster dictionary:

Rights- a legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way.

Responsibilities- a duty or task that you are required or expected to do; something that you should do because it is morally right.

We are blessed to be surrounded by a culture that emphasizes freedom of the individual and the rights of self expression.  Looking at life through this Western lens, we're likely to feel that rights are of paramount importance to fight for.  But can this noble perspective work within spirituality; can it sustain Judaism?  It's my right to observe Shabbat on a Sunday; Saturdays don't work for me/It's my right to change this mitzvah; it's outdated for my lifestyle/It's my right to be called up to the Torah.

If we view life through a Jewish lens, we learn that it is about responsibilities.  Jews since the beginning of time accepted that Judaism is about our obligations to G-d: It's not easy to be loving to this family member, but it's my responsibility to take care of their needs/It's my obligation to give myself and my children a Jewish education.

Shavuos (small)
Being spiritual is not (only) about how I want to serve G-d; it's about how G-d wants me to serve G-d.

And it is ultimately through fulfilling our responsibilities that we find the deepest kinds of happiness.

It is important for a democracy to preserve our freedoms and rights.

It is my destiny as a Jew to fulfill my spiritual responsibilities.

Hence, the "Ten Suggestions" as our society has coined them is ultimately, still, the Ten Commandments :)

How do you view the Ten Commandments?

Do you think Judaism can be preserved if it is viewed as a bill of rights, as a suggested way of life?

Come share your thoughts on Sunday, March 4th, at our Rosh Chodesh Society session on the Ten Commandments, Engraved in Your Heart.

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